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It's time to return to a timeless tale. Previously adapted for the screen in 2009, Audrey Niffenegger's celebrated debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, will soon be retold with an upcoming HBO series starring Rose Leslie and Theo James. Currently filming in New York City under showrunner Stephen Moffat (Doctor Who), details remain limited about this HBO adaptation, but we do know some key facts about this in-development show, which we'll share right now. Here's what we know about HBO's The Time Traveler's Wife.
The Time Traveler’s Wife Is Based On The Acclaimed Romantic Novel By Audrey Niffenegger
Published in 2003, Audrey Niffenegger's first novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, became a quick bestseller, selling over 2.5 million copies in the U.S. Praised for its well-defined characters, sharp prose, and unique interpretation of time travel, this literary debut found affection between both sci-fi lovers and romantics alike, allowing it to secure broad appeal in no time. Serving as a metaphor for her failed relationships, The Time Traveler's Wife was a love story that followed a man named Henry who time-traveled unpredictably and a smitten woman named Clare who must cope with his unorthodox condition. It was a tale that was — at once — boldly original and appropriately timeless.
The HBO Series Will Star Rose Leslie And Theo James
For fantasy fans, The Time Traveler's Wife isn't the first time that they've seen Rose Leslie and Theo James. Most notably, the former is best known for playing Ygritte in Game of Thrones, while the latter played Tobias "Four" Eaton in The Divergent Series. In this HBO series, Leslie adopts the role of Clare Abshire and James will be seen as Henry DeTamble, as we follow how their marriage is complicated due to time travel.
Elsewhere, Rose Leslie is recognizable for her performances as Gwen Dawson in Downton Abbey and Maia Rindell in The Good Fight. Furthermore, in film, the actress starred in Honeymoon. Additionally, Leslie appeared in The Last Witch Hunter, Now Is Good, Sticky Notes, and Morgan. She's also attached to next year's Death on the Nile.
Meanwhile, Theo James was seen in Underworld: Awakening and Blood Wars. The actor's other film credits include War on Everyone, London Fields, How It Ends, The Inbetweeners Movie, and The Benefactor. He also starred in Golden Boy and Sanditon. Additionally, James was heard in Castlevania and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
The Time Traveler’s Wife Cast Includes Desmin Borges And Natasha Lopez
Along with Rose Leslie and Theo James playing our lovey-dovey lead characters, The Time Traveler's Wife will also feature Desmin Borges and Natasha Lopez in supporting turns. Best known for playing Edgar Quintero in FXX's dark comedy series, You're the Worst, Borges has regularly bounced between film and television. His other notable TV credits include Living with Yourself, The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU, Switched at Birth, Preacher, and Madam Secretary. Most recently, Borges had a starring role in Amazon Prime's short-lived sci-fi drama series, Utopia. In film, additionally, the actor can be seen in Private Life, Compliance, Tower Heist, Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Mend, and Cherry (2010). Next, Borges recently shot a supporting role in Shotgun Wedding.
As for Natasha Lopez, the actress is a relative newcomer. Her only other credits are Runner Runner and an episode of Law & Order: SVU. Certainly, if this show does well, this HBO adaptation could be her big break. But only time will tell there, hardy har har.
The Time Traveler's Wife Is The Latest Series From Doctor Who And Sherlock’s Steven Moffat
Steven Moffat remains as hard-working as ever. Best known as the showrunner behind BBC One's Doctor Who and Sherlock, as well as Netflix's Dracula and BBC 2's Coupling, the veteran Scottish writer has kept an active profile over the past three-plus decades. Now, Moffat tackles one of his most ambitious projects with HBO's The Time Traveler's Wife, which is a huge honor for the celebrated scribe — by his own enthused admission.
Steven Moffat Says This TV Adaptation Is ‘About A Time Traveler' But It's Not Sci-Fi
As an earnestly emotional blend of romance and time-bending sci-fi, it's easy to see why Steven Moffat found Audrey Niffenegger's novel to be such an appealing property. The showrunner has his fair share of experience with bleeding heart lovers and time-bending personalities, so The Time Traveler's Wife has the potential to be a proper mending of two of his greatest interests. Certainly, in the press release announcing this show, Moffat was quick to flatter Niffenegger's "extraordinary" work, hailing this TV adaptation as a "dream project" and detailing his affections. Here's what the writer said:
Steven Moffat Loved The Time Traveler's Wife So Much, He Wrote A Doctor Who Episode As A 'Direct Response'
As we've noted earlier, Steven Moffat is quite a fan of this source material. As he told Deadline, Moffat was instantly spellbound by the time-bouncing text, and he was compelled to write an episode of Doctor Who inspired by Audrey Niffenegger's book, which became "The Girl in the Fireplace." He even went so far as to call it a "direct response" to the material. In a delightful turn of fate, Moffat discovered that his own work was planted into Niffenegger's follow-up book. At that point, Moffat realized that "she was probably on to" him. Now that he has a chance to adapt this meaningful material, Moffat is ready to turn his dream into a reality, particularly as he believes "the brave new world of long-form television" is "ready for this kind of depth and complexity."
The Upcoming Series Is Currently Filming In New York
There's no time like the present! While the upcoming adaptation took its sweet time in development (as we'll discuss in a moment), HBO's The Time Traveler's Wife is officially in production, though its release date is unknown. It's also unclear how long production is expected to last — particularly given its recent start. That said, we know that Emmy-winning director David Nutter (Game of Thrones) will helm all six episodes of Season 1.
Despite Its 2018 Announcement, It Took Time Before Cameras Rolled On HBO's The Time Traveler's Wife
Ironically, it took some time before cameras rolled on HBO's The Time Traveler's Wife. First announced in July 2018, as Deadline reported, it took nearly three years since this initial announcement for the project to move forward. At the time, it was a highly-sought property, notably with Amazon vying to get it under their corporate umbrella. Following this news release, we hadn't heard anything significant about the show's development; one could reasonably assume that it wasn't moving forward after all. Therefore, it was a bit of a surprise when HBO revealed the show's production status.
The Best-Selling Novel Was Previously Adapted As A Movie In 2009 With Rachel McAdams And Eric Bana
If you're getting some deja vu about this upcoming series, there's a good reason why. Prior to HBO's newest literary adaptation, Audrey Niffenegger's novel inspired a 2009 movie starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams as our romantic leads who must come to terms with the former's irregular disorder, which causes him to randomly time travel.
Directed by Robert Schwentke (RED), this weepy romantic drama suffered a number of delays and received mixed-to-negative reviews when it was released, but the movie earned over $100 million worldwide and found its audience, fittingly enough, over time.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.